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Discussion Starter · #42 · (Edited)
Thanks for the info! Makes sense but I didn't think about the break-in period for the tires first. I guess what I meant by sticky was the rubber itself seemed a lot more pliable than what was on the old ones. I wasn't going too fast, speed limit was 55 and I tended to slow way down for a lot of the curves. Most of the roads here in SE OH can get pretty twisty and an unfamiliarity tends to lead to some panic over blind hills followed by sharp turns at higher speeds. How long/ many miles would you say it generally takes to break in the tires?

Like I said before, new to all of this so I have very little experience riding/ riding in the rain under my belt. Only around 500ish miles in the mostly dry. I try to put in an hour doing swerves, u-turns, low speed maneuvers, emergency stops ( only up to about 30-35ish mph for now), some trail braking, etc. every time I head out. Almost got a knee down doing circles in a lot the other day, well... at least dragged a peg for two microseconds. we I'd like to think that being a bit older than most novice riders left me a bit conservative on the throttle. I've also never been on the bike on that road and once it switched from a steady rain to a mist I couldn't see much. A true learning experience ?. On a side note I found out that my jacket isn't completely water proof!

Hopefully get the front spooned on later today, swap my bleeder screw on the front caliper and purge any air in the line. Krusty, I'll let you know how the tires hold up and at higher speeds once I get them broken in. Yesterday I only got up to about 60-65 on the straights.
 

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I recall you said the tach was broken. motorcyclespecs.com Good article about these bikes. Rider described 60 as the sweet spot. That comes at 6000 revs. Each 1000 revs adds 10 mph. When new the bikes could nudge 100 with a skinny kid in leathers on board. I can get 10,000 thru the gears, but only 9,000 it top gear. I nudge 90 to 92 on a good day. Too much drag from extra bits bolted on. You might want to keep this bike forever. They are great to ride, great to learn on, and easy enough to keep running, and cheaper too. I ride mine during the winter months mostly. I can pick it up if needed, I can not pick up the bigger bikes. The bigger bikes have the advantage of cruising easily at 75 with two up and gear. Otherwise the smaller bike is king, IMO. You should get close to 50 MPG. I get 50 to 55, but our gallons are 20% bigger. We use liters but I convert to gallons, and convert kilometers to miles. Doing good with the tippy plan. Riding around in circles is a good way to get the feel of the bike leaning. No need to copy the road race guys. Stay centered. In the rain, you may feel more comfortable copying the motocross riders, who lean the bike while staying more upright with their body. You will not run out of tyre doing this. You can practice this while on the hard dry surface.
Post a pic sometime. You show me yours, I will show you mine.

Bon chance. UK
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Thanks Krusty! That was my plan with the circles. Not trying to emulate the gp guys on the road ?but it is nice learning the limits in a more controlled environment and getting comfortable with lean angles. I found a guy in Germany on eBay that had a tach for buy-it now of $140 u.s. but I haven't pulled the trigger on it yet. A few other expenses have gotten in the way. I thought about getting aftermarket speedo and tach but put $100 in and got the NOS speedo so probably going to stick with the NOS tach.

I do practice counterbalancing on slow maneuvers and u-turns but haven't thought to apply it in the rain. Thanks for the tip there. I plan on taking a few classes but none are available in my area over the winter. So far my learning had come from a few decent youtube channels and reading David Hough and Lee Parks and trying to emulate the practice advice they give. That and the years of bicycle commuting I've done.

I do love the smaller displacement bike and don't really have too much of a desire go larger for the time being. My skill level definitely does not exceed the ability of the bike and the added fuel economy is a big plus. In the next handful of years I would like to add either a Himalayan or TW200 to the garage because I like their looks, mechanical simplicity and they're both fairly inexpensive. I know the 200 would be a substantial step down in terms of power but the ideal of adventure that it offers is tempting.
I don't really plan on riding two up, unless in a pinch so the bigger displacements don't (currently) appeal to me as much.

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Here's a few of the bike from this past weekend in the middle of nowhere. Last owner painted it, dropped it and creased the right side of tank. Most of the paint is okay but I don't think he prepped any of the old. It was originally a red one. Once the weather warms up I'd like to put some filler in and smooth it out and repaint (tank and some of the plastic side covers at the least) if I get the time, money and gumption. Would love to see yours too! Now I've got to stop procrastinating and get out to the garage and get that front tire on sort out the air in my brakes.
 

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General rule of thumb for breaking in tires is 100 miles. But this is at a geometric rate. Meaning at 50 miles your a lot more than 50% broken in. First 10 to 20 are especially critical. After which you can start gradually putting a little more lean in the turns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
SF the 400 came in two packages. The single cylinder plain Jane, and the DOHC of the Maxim and Seca. I've heard the DOHC are better motors but the single cylinders had a longer production run and seem to have a cult following in West Europe.
 

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The small bike of the year for 019 is the Kawasaki Ninja 400. It resembles the XS400 in many ways, almost a clone. It is the only new 400 that can perform as well as the XS. I paid $250 for mine. With a new motor, tires, bearings and other stuff I spent about $1000 total. The DOHC is the one to get.
RD400 are often for sale for large amounts of $$$. The XS is a better bike IMO, for a lot less, and there are plenty of bits in the dead bike yards.

UK
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Good price! I got mine for $600, needed the speedo and shortly after the tach and most other consumables. Rear drum still grabs really well but I have a set of shoes and springs to replace. I'd like to get a new tank at some point possibly down the road as this one has been coated and is a bit dinged up. They seem tough to find but I've heard stories of people finding them at old dealerships.

Interestingly enough I found a '82 600 Seca for grabs for $500 on CL. Had I had a little more time and money on my hands it'd probably be sitting in the garage now ?. Don't know much about them but just to add to the Seca collection lol.

Just ordered the tach off of eBay. I'll keep you posted as to what revs/speeds I'm getting once I install it. Might be a bit as the only one I found is shipping from Greece...

Krusty, I noticed the Canadian flag, do you still ride in winter?
 

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I ride all year, except when it snows on my Island, or between here and the mainland place. 80 miles away, including 30 on two ferries. It is amazing how fast a street bike can go extreme tippy in the snow. Dec and Jan, I usually take my RV ( red van ) to darts on Friday nights. The XS400 is the winter bike, but is insured year round. To have collector plates on the other bikes, I have to have something else insured at regular rates. The 400 is the cheapest to insure, yet still freeway capable. The RV is insured for the winter months only, and I leave on the winter tires.
the other winter bikes is an XS1100 with a side car attached. This is so I can go to the big island next to me for supplies. It is still a bike for BC ferries rates, and I am still first on and first off. Wasting an hour or more for the ferry in a cage is not user friendly for me. The bottom left coast is the warmest part of BC and Canada in the winter months. Dec Jan rains the most, but sometimes snows.

UK
 

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Forgot.
My summer bikes are a 96 Triumph Trophy 900, and 80 mint XS1100, a 006 SV1000S Suzuki, and a couple of others waiting to be worked on. I will sell the Suzuki soon. The insurance is too much $$ for regular plates. The Triumph can do the job, and is much more comfortable for Admiral Shirley..

UK
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
Very cool! I suspected you weren't too far north lol. I'd like to have a good collection one day and just use my truck when absolutely necessary ( hauling construction materials, towing ,etc. ). Insurance cost me $95 a year and I'd have to check into discounts on multiples. I'd love to visit the NW u.s. one day, on a bike would be even better ?.


I just got the front tire in and bled the brake lines and swapped out my bleed screw. Correct me if I'm mistaken, but murky brake fluid is indicative of moisture in the line, right ? Whenever I would first pull the brake line it was a little soft but would stiffen on the second pull. The brakes started out firm after I installed the line but it seemed to get progressively worse over the following month. So not sure if that was just a bubble that worked its way out of top of caliper or somewhere high in the line when I swapped or what. We'll see how this round of bleeding goes otherwise I might have air getting in somewhere else. I left the brake lever ziptied overnight to help encourage any rogue bubbles to make their way out. When I put the brake lines on I did the "build it yourself" with SS braided line and may not have gotten the best seal? I used new copper crush washers so the banjo seals should be good (unless I didn't torque them to spec). If this round doesn't work I'll pull the lines, trim and try to re seat. I just replaced the master so I don't think that's the culprit and I haven't noticed any fluid leaking from the plunger.

It's a high of 20 F here tomorrow so don't know if I'll try to get out. I'll update once I get to test out new tires/ get them broken in and see if the brake line gremlin's still in the line.

The front cleaned up quickly with a brass brush and the Dremel. It was no where near as bad as the back. I finally heard the little pop when the bead set! Suffice to say, I was stoked. Thanks again for all the help!
 

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but murky brake fluid is indicative of moisture in the line, right ?
Murky fluid does indicate moisture but you can be sure a lot of that moisture settled in the lowest part of the system, the caliper... Always does, every time.
Unfortunately that means your caliper is due for a good cleaning/overhaul. If you're lucky moisture did not work its way up to the master cyl yet but some probably did make its way up into the new brake line. You'll want to blow the line out when you do the caliper.

When I put the brake lines on I did the "build it yourself" with SS braided line and may not have gotten the best seal?
If you didn't get a good seal you will find fluid leaks at any place the seal is not sealed well. No fluid leak, good seal.

S F
 
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